published at the The Guardian 19/3/13
The crisis in Greece is posing serious threats to democracy and human rights (Report, 15 March). We are particularly concerned about the rise of fascism and racism. The government continues to tolerate the violence and hate speech of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. Golden Dawn MPs attack democracy and display symbols of the military junta of 1967-1974; the party recruits supporters unopposed by the authorities, including schoolchildren. Members of the Greek police engage in violence against immigrants and protesters but have not been brought to account, despite calls from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UNHCR.
Refugees and migrants face attacks from supporters of far-right groups; the Council of Europe‘s commissioner for human rights recently called such violence “a real threat to democracy”. European and constitutional law is persistently violated. Legislation is introduced through presidential and ministerial decrees, abandoning parliamentary accountability. Independent journalists are censored. We are deeply concerned that fundamental rights and freedoms for which the Greek people have fought for decades are being undermined.
George Bizos, Jon Cruddas MP, Prof Costas Douzinas, Maria Margaronis, Prof Peter Mackridge, Prof Donald Sassoon, Gillian Slovo and 837 others. Full list atwww.thepetitionsite.com/375/381/293/initiative-for-democracy-in-greece/
• It was the Cypriot government – not the EU or the IMF – which insisted that small depositors be levied to save the banking system. Cyprus has been acting as the clearing house for Russian oligarchs for years. It was this group that the EU and IMF sought to target against fierce resistance from the Cypriot president. The real villains is the Cypriot government, which is hell-bent on protecting Russian tax cheats at the expense of their own citizens.
Doctoral researcher in EU Politics, University of Edinburgh
- Target: Citizens
- Sponsored by: Initiative for Democracy in Greece
A small group of us in London, Greeks of varied affiliations and political persuasions, have come together because we are very concerned about the rise of fascism, racism and the erosion of democracy and civil rights in Greece. Our aim is to raise awareness of the problem internationally, in the hope that this might help to put pressure on Greek politicians to address these issues. We have drafted a statement which we plan to send as an open letter to selected publications, initially in Britain but later also in Greece and the United States. We hope to collect as many signatures as we can from people with a personal or professional interest in Greece and/or human rights and civil liberties. We would be very grateful if you would sign the statement, adding your position/affiliation in the comment box if you feel you can do so, and also forward it to others who might be interested. Read the rest of this entry »